Stats Regarding Gender Representation in Literature

Article:

Gender in Twentieth-Century Children’s Books

Summary:

Compared to females, males are represented nearly twice as often in titles and 1.6 times as often as central characters. By no measure in any book series (i.e., Caldecott award winners, Little Golden Books, and books listed in the Children’s Catalog) are females represented more frequently than males. We argue that these disparities are evidence of symbolic annihilation and have implications for children’s understandings of gender.

Lady Woolthief’s Take:

Lady Woolthief is a woman of many hats (pun definitely intended), and she’s about to put on an important new one: Auntie. All of the wonderful things she will share with her nieces or nephews (that’s right, more than one) immediately flood Lady Woolthief’s mind. Tea time, Pink Stuff (yum!), costumes, hats! And books, so many books! But as the article linked above points out, Lady Woolthief’s beloved books and other forms of media play a profound role in diminishing the confidence of young girls.

Imagine you’re a child, soaking up the world around you like a dry sponge thirsty for knowledge. You read about all the limitless adventures boys can have. The males in your stories are fascinating and flawed. Some are intelligent and others hilarious. Some are athletes and others favor art. They reach audiences far and wide. On the other hand, we have wonderful diverse females like Pippy Longstocking, Bloody Jack, and Elena of Avalor, but stories with strong female protagonists are harder to find, and most books led by males are devoid of supporting female characters altogether. You start to wonder, before you’re even old enough to write, if boys aren’t just better than girls.

Conclusion:

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Things need to change. Lady Woolthief wants her potential nieces to boast their achievements and fight hard to make their worlds better, not wait around for someone else to get the job done. She wants her potential nephews to know the power of female ambition and to value their partnership. But change doesn’t just happen. Consumers should vote with their dollars and show the publishers and producers of these stories that they want stronger female presence in entertainment as well as a stronger female presence in the workforce and leadership. Lady Woolthief has started her very own Girl Empowered Media Collection, and whether the new lambs are boys or girls, they will know that girls can do anything they put their minds to.

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Dark Magic Fantasy Top Hot

Enchant your friends and family with this one of a kind top hat from Lady Woolthief. Jazz up a variety of fun outfits with this blue, black and gold show stopper. The defining mask was found in a thrift store and upcycled with style. Hand-made, this hat is fun from all angles and perfect for any person who wants to stand out in a crowd.

The top hat is approximately 25 1/2 inches around, which will sit on most heads. Size it to perfection with the 2 feet of hat foam tape included with each purchase. It weighs 8 oz.

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Check it out here.

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Custom Mad Hatter Saint Patrick’s “Tea Party” Top Hat

Lady Woolthief just polished off and sent this custom made Saint Patrick’s Day tea party hat off. Custom Tea Party Top Hats are available at Lady Woolthief’s Etsy Store!

Join the Mad Hatter’s tea party with a fantastical, hand-made Alice in Wonderland top hat by Lady Woolthief. Perfect for a fun take on Alice’s time in Wonderland, this hat features several unique touches. Cards were custom made by Lady Woolthief to incorporate the Mad Hatter’s common 10/6 card. The metal decor features a clock, key, and white rabbit charm.

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Cinderella “Dancing Until Midnight” Top Hat

This satin-covered top hat decorated by Lady Woolthief captures the spirit of Cinderella. Topped with a glass slipper, this hat was created with a pretty plaster sculpture of a couple dancing, fabric flowers, tulle, a metal slipper, a pumpkin decal, and a clock that almost strikes midnight.

The top hat is approximately 25 1/2 inches around, which will sit on most heads. Size it to perfection with the 2 feet of hat foam tape included with each purchase.

All of Lady Woolthief hats are one of a kind, made by hand. The defining couple figurine was a singular find at a thrift store.

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Check it out here.

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Open Letters to Everyone Regarding the Student Loan Crisis

Articles:

Student Loan Giant Navient Sued by CFPB & Two States Over Alleged Illegal Practices

Student Debt Payback Far Worse Than Believed

How student loan servicers affect tens of millions of people

How This 29-Year-Old Paid Off $113,000 In Student Loans In 7 Years

Navient lawsuit: what student loan borrowers need to know

How FOMO Could Be Wrecking Your Student Loan Debt Burden

Loans ‘Designed to Fail’: States Say Navient Preyed on Students

Student Debt Giant Navient to Borrowers: You’re on Your Own

7 Smart Student Loan Repayment Strategies

Summary:

As the nation watches the student loan debt steadily rising above 1.3 trillion, new data was released on Friday indicating at least half of students have defaulted or failed to pay down at least $1 on their debt within seven years. There is no shortage of memes or Facebook commenters calling out who is to blame.

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Is it the student’s fault? The university’s? The lender’s?

Lady Woolthief’s Take:

If 50% of a middle school English class failed, would it immediately be assumed all of those students were stupid? Or would it be worth a shot to look into the teacher’s effectiveness?

A combination of factors have created this toxic environment for students. Yes, students should pay back the money they borrowed. But… Interest rates are much too high. College is too expensive. Degrees are valued too much in the job market. And the lending practices of universities absolutely need reform.

“You don’t have a credit history, which is why the best interest rate you can get is 7%. It’ll be even less if you have a co-signer. Mom? Dad? Can you help them out? Oh, don’t worry. With the skills our program teaches, he’ll easily get a job and have it paid off in ten years. And even if that doesn’t quite work out, there’s plenty of repayment options. You can always consolidate.”

That’s what the student loan industry is built on, which is sad (and probably in a business-savvy way, smart). It’s also short-sighted. They’ll make trillions on millennials, but the rest of the economy is already suffering — check out the mortgage industry. Many millennials are too overwhelmed paying off student loans to put money away for retirement or even start families. Others have unfortunately given up ever paying off their student loans and have abandoned them.

slmeme3Who takes out a loan without the intention of paying it back? Pretty much no one, despite the perception. No college-bound 18-year-old wants to ruin their credit or declare bankruptcy before their adult life has really began. Most students take out loans with good intentions. But being smacked with a tremendous monthly bill that only seems to grow as interest accumulates gets to be too burdensome. Others are scraping by paying the minimum (for some, close to/over $1,000), while barely making an impression on the principal balance — they will be paying for their student loans into their forties and possibly fifties. At current interest rates, the lender could double their initial investment.

No matter who is responsible, something has to change for the next generation. Lenders and schools need to stop looking at students as cash cows before the entire system collapses.

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Dear General Public,

There is plenty of blame to go around, so please, please stop pointing your finger solely at the (literally) poor 18 year-old kids who wanted a better life for themselves. They have their share of the responsibility and they are held accountable for that (even in bankruptcy, student loan debt is rarely discharged), but it is also the corporations handing out the money that are breaking the system. In the last few years, students have won several lawsuits against schools and lending companies over their predatory lending practices. Everyone knows schools over-inflate their success rates, job opportunities, and salary statistics to bait students into loans they could never afford. But that is nothing compared to the nefarious practices of outright lying to students about what their loan payment terms will be and covertly charging private student loans with higher interest rates to students who have not used up their federal loan resources yet. Schools are not looking out for the best interest of their students and that is a scary prospect for everyone.

Student loans are the only option for millions of students in an economy where janitor positions ask for at minimum a 2-year degree. Please take pity on these borrowers. Many of them are in over their heads. Imagine five years out of college, making a minimum payment of $900/month, on top of rent and other living expenses, and barely seeing a dent in your principal balance due to sky-high interest rates. That is not the dream their college financial counselor sold them on and it is beyond discouraging.

Dear Borrowers,

There’s no classy way to say it: this situation sucks the big one. However, predatory or not, you did take on the responsibility of the loan when you signed for it. Don’t hide from your debt — it’s not going to go away. There is a wealth of articles online both bemoaning loan companies (which will make you feel not so alone) and offering helpful tips about how to make your loan situation manageable. Educate yourself on options concerning federal versus private loans. Take advantage of the programs available to consolidate your federal loans into one, small monthly payment. It’s time consuming, but will save you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress. If you remain in good standing, most private lenders are now willing to work with you due to pressure from the public and the government. Sign up for income-based programs. Even if you aren’t in good standing, there are generally still options available. After all, paying something is better than nothing. Make sacrifices to pay off your loans. Live with roommates, don’t eat out every day, work extra hours. Cut your living expenses as much as possible until those loans are paid off.

Please don’t give up on your dream. It’s unbearable to think of those struggling under the weight of this debt who don’t even have the pay-off of working in the field for which they went to school. Keep fighting to make it worth it.

Dear United States Government,

Offer some relief — not a bail-out, just some relief.

Here’s an idea: raise the cap on what can be deducted off of taxes. $2,500 of student loan interest getting deducted sounds nice until you discover that you’ve paid well over $7,000 in student loan interest over the course of the year. The student loan deduction cap was instituted before this became a household crisis, and has not been raised since. With some student loans being as large as some mortgages, it’s beyond time the cap was raised. Further, get creative with incentivizing people to invest their tax refund back into the repayment of student loans. For instance, a program where the government matches any tax refund money paid toward student loans would encourage people to get their loans paid off faster.

Dear Employers,

It is so appreciated that you offer gainful employment, but please really consider if a degree is necessary before including it in a job description. If more good jobs didn’t require degrees, fewer students would feel obligated to take out loans to pay for college. It is a hard job market to navigate for someone without at least some college on their resume.

Dear Universities,

Cut your costs and make education affordable again. Leave general education to high schools, and consider opening up more 2-year trade schools so students are focused on the careers they are pursuing instead of spending money on mandatory classes they will never use. Stop with the predatory recruitment and lending practices. Seriously, stop.

Dear Private Lenders,

A plea.

You are important. You help bankroll kids’ college educations when they would never be able to afford it otherwise.

But please reflect on your business model. It is unsustainable and bad for the health of this nation. Make a buck on someone’s dream, but don’t multiply that by seven.

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